Before the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, the Nation’s Institute of Music (ANIM) played in some of the most renowned concert halls in the world. In 2021, as the US pulled its troops out of the country, ANIM, home to 273 students and staff, was forced into exile.

In December 2021, these talented refugees found a new home in Portugal with renewed hope that music would again fill the halls of their prized Institute and that stage fright would be the only fear its students face. “When the Taliban came to Kabul, we had to leave,” says Dr. Sarmast, the founder. “Now, we dare to hope, but still there is much to do.”
As Russia’s war in Ukraine ramped up, the Portuguese government struggled to deal with the influx of refugees from Eastern Europe, making the
students and staff live for almost a year in a rundown military hospital in Lisbon before being resettled in the northern city of Braga.”

“My dream is to keep Afghan Music alive“ says Shogufa Safi, 18, conductor of the all female Zhora Orchestra, now living in Braga, north of Portugal. With Afghanistan now a silent society, a huge weight has been put on this group of refugees. They are to be the protectors of Afghan musical traditions, making sure the ancient sounds of their home country continue to be heard in the future. Their regeneration in Europe is something they are still fighting for, living as refugees in a strange land.

Artist Bios

  • Gonçalo Fonseca

    Gonçalo Fonseca (b. 1993) is a documentary photographer based in Lisbon, Portugal, that specializes in intimate and long-term projects. Since 2017 he has worked on long-term projects in Portugal, China, and India, focusing on social and environmental issues in a quest to explore topics like the essence of home and the meaning of belonging.

    He regularly works on assignment for outlets like the Washington Post, New York Times, Der Spiegel, and Guardian, documenting the significant issues and events in his homeland nestled by the Atlantic Ocean.

    His body of work “New Lisbon” won the Leica Oskar Barnack Award – Newcomer 2020 (DE). He was a finalist in the “Community Awareness Award” at the 78th Pictures of the Year International in 2021 (US) and was selected for the Eddie Adams Workshop XXXIV (US). Gonçalo’s other distinctions include receiving the Yunghi Grant 2020 (US), the Estação Imagem Award – Daily Life 2020 (PT), and being a finalist at the Hellerau Portrait Award 2018.

    Gonçalo’s work has been exhibited at major museums and galleries around the world in countries like Portugal, the United Kingdom, Germany, China, South Korea, Australia, or the United Arab Emirates. He is a Nominator for the Leica Oskar Barnack prize.


  • Photoville


    Founded in 2011 in Brooklyn, NY, Photoville was built on the principles of addressing cultural equity and inclusion, which we are always striving for, by ensuring that the artists we exhibit are diverse in gender, class, and race.

    In pursuit of its mission, Photoville produces an annual, city-wide open air photography festival in New York City, a wide range of free educational community initiatives, and a nationwide program of public art exhibitions.

    By activating public spaces, amplifying visual storytellers, and creating unique and highly innovative exhibition and programming environments, we join the cause of nurturing a new lens of representation.

    Through creative partnerships with festivals, city agencies, and other nonprofit organizations, Photoville offers visual storytellers, educators, and students financial support, mentorship, and promotional & production resources, on a range of exhibition opportunities.

    For more information about Photoville visit,

Finding Home


Featuring: Gonçalo Fonseca

Presented by: Photoville with additional support by Epson
  • Photoville

Supported by:

  • Epson


ON VIEW AT: Container 4

View Location Details Download a detailed map of this location Brooklyn Bridge Park – Emily Warren Roebling Plaza

1 Water St
Brooklyn, NY 11201

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Photography by Gonçalo Fonseca

Poetry by Najib Angar

This website was made possible thanks to the generous support and partnership of Photowings